Tag Archives: matched

Goodreads | Peter Anargirou’s 2013 Year in Books

Goodreads | 2013 Year in Books.

I read 32 books last year according to Goodreads. Boy, a lot of it was crap.

Six books were for teens – Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy, the last two novels of Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, and a novelization from Surviving High School (the iOS visual novel I play a lot) by M. Doty, How to Be a Star.

Thirteen were actually episodic releases of John Scalzi’s The Human Division. It was later released as one novel.

Four were short stories (and most weren’t great) – The Time Traveler’s Wife, Skinny Bitch, Dead(ish), and I Will Be Your Dominatrix.

Two were based on World of Warcraft – Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde and Stormrage.

The other eight were more substantial – The Ocean at the End of the Lane, John Dies at the End, This Book Is Full of Spiders, The Time Machine and the Invisible Man, The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

I’d talk about which ones I liked, but honestly, I really enjoyed a lot of them. It was nice to see John Scalzi return to his Old Man’s War universe with the Human Division, and I really liked the episodic release. John Dies at the End and its sequel, This Books Is Full of Spiders were both fun. I really loved Kafka’s stories, as weird as they were. And what can I say? I’m a sucker for teenager dystopian novels.

Ally Condie reaches her conclusion in Reached

In Reached, many questions about the Society, the Rising, and other peoples are finally answered. The title and cover art are very appropriate with Casia breaking free in her red dress. In fact, if you’ve never paid attention to the covers to the previous books, you really should!

Things don’t go as smoothly for everyone as they would have liked, and there are some large changes in play for the population. I repeatedly wondered how there could be a happy ending for everyone. This is something that plagues any story of a love triangle in which you care about all three. Not every character gets his or her happy ending, but many do.

Condie answers a lot of questions, but she leaves some unanswered. She does, however, reinforce Casia’s grandfather’s statement that it’s okay to wonder. Are there other far away countries, and if so, what are they like? What’s the final outcome? Casia’s story comes to a nice conclusion by the end, but everything isn’t spelled out for the reader. There’s plenty more about which to wonder, which is, I suspect, just how Condie wants it.

And who knows? Maybe she’ll write more in this universe!

Cross-posted on Goodreads.

Crossed by Ally Condie

Following the dysopian future shown in Matched, Crossed explores the fringes of that society. More importantly, it shows what’s outside of that. While it was exciting, a story becomes less dystopian once it’s outside of the society proper.

When I discussed Matched, I compared it to other novels in the same genre. The series especially reminded me of The Hunger Games. Fortunately, things deviated. First, there was the secret. I won’t give it away, but it raises the tensions a bit. Second, the ending of Crossed definitely paves the way for Reached, the final book, to be quite exciting (and different)!

I’m starting Reached tonight.

Matched by Ally Condie

I finished Matched by Ally Condie this morning. Matched is a dystopian teen novel. I caught glimpses of The Giver in it but also a lot of the Hunger Games, which was published two years earlier, as well.

Cassia is a member of the Society. Everything seems to be going normally for her when she’s matched for marriage by the Officials just as all married persons are. However, things start to go awry as she develops feelings for another and begins to see the flaws of her Society.

Dystopian fiction is always particularly interesting to me. Besides making for entertaining stories, they serve as philosophical thinking points. What if the government could predict things so accurately that they take all the guesswork out of life? Would that be good? What if they could eliminate most suffering, but it came at a cost? I particularly liked seeing what culture was destroyed in this future and what culture was preserved.

Compared to other similar works, Matched takes place in a nation that seems a little more connected than most. Family members communicate despite being far away, and people still take trips in planes. In fact, vacations to distant places are even mentioned once. At the same time, things seem even more restricted in Matched than in others of its genre. I could see it almost being accepted more easily by the population than the civilizations in similar novels, which makes it that much more interesting.

Luckily for me, the sequel, Crossed, and its sequel, Reached, are already released. I know what’s next for me.